Most Kings fans are thinking, again? Another season under .500? With the Kings finishing 33-49, concerns about the franchise have arisen once again.
The 2015-2016 season marked the 10th consecutive season that Sacramento has not finished over .500 and 0-6 in the DeMarcus Cousins era.
There were high hopes and expectations this season, especially because solid veteran players with playoff experience were brought in to change the losing culture, but the product did not produce as expected.
With hopes of making the playoffs this season and with many experts expecting the Kings to break their postseason drought, Sacramento found themselves right back at where they have been over the years.
We learned Cousins is still easy tempered and went on to lead the league in technical fouls with 17. Veteran leadership from Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli did not help bring down the negative emotions of Cousins.
You begin to question if there will ever be a coach to contain Cousins and be able to communicate efficiently on and off the court. George Karl failed miserably, and as the season progressed, their relationship got worse and ultimately Karl was fired just a couple of days ago.
Cousins went on to have his best year statistically, averaging 27 points per game and he also improved his three-point efficiency.
The addition of Rondo made the Kings finish in the top half of the NBA in offensive efficiency this season averaging 107 points per game, only trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.
Rondo finished the season averaging a league leading 11.7 assists per game earning the assist title for the NBA. Along with the high assist totals, Rondo went on to tally six triple-doubles during the season and finished second in steals.
Joining Cousins as one of the most consistent players on the Kings, Rudy Gay shot 46% from the field, while averaging 17 points per game. Although his stats were decent, he wasn’t as effective like prior seasons due to playing a lot of power forward this season. He is a lot more comfortable playing small forward.
Backup point guard Darren Collison easily had the best season over any backup point in the league, averaging 14 points in 30 min per game. Collison is under contract until the end of next season. He is expected to make $5,229,000.
We learned this season that the position the Kings are in dire need is shooting guard. Ben McLemore has shown he is decent enough to land a spot in a rotation in the NBA but as far as being a prolific starter, it sure doesn’t seem that will happen. He took a huge step backwards this season.
Marco Belinelli was brought in to expand the shooting guard position and provide outside shooting but he did not perform as efficiently as he has in the past. Belinelli shot a career-low 38% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc this season.
With all hopes of a high volume shooter diminishing this season, it leaves Sacramento with no choice but to either draft a shooting guard or pick up a shooting guard via trade or free agency.
The 2016 draft is a star-studded draft at the shooting guard position and I would not be surprised if Sacramento went that route heading into next season.
Vlade Divac had the right idea in revamping the roster heading into the 2015-2016 season. It did produce the offensive scoring we expected but the awful defense really hurt them and ultimately, the Kings finished with another bad season.
Divac will have many tough decisions to make and it will start with hiring his new head coach and more help in the front office. Then he will have to decide if Cousins is the right guy to lead this franchise to the promise land. So far, Cousins has failed to help the Kings win 35 games during his tenure in Sacramento.
Overall, I give the 2015-2016 Sacramento Kings a C-.